Monday, August 1, 2011

Waxing Poetic

These are difficult times for many of us, it poses special challenges for beauty addicts such as myself. A couple of years ago I found myself unemployed, which meant cutting back on certain things. One area that suffered from these budget cuts was the beauty/pampering department. I'm a survivor, and I managed to cope without the overpriced haircuts, facials and spa treatments for the duration of my unemployment. When I started working again I celebrated the fact that I'd be able to splurge on regular haircuts at my favorite salon again, even the occasional facial at a nice spa would be possible. But I knew I had to be smart and needed to find a way to cut corners on some things if I wanted to keep myself looking good without depleting my bank account. I turned to my local drugstores to scour the aisles for thrifty alternatives with more than modest success. This is the tale of how I curbed the cost of a hairy situation.

I took advantage of some good deals at my former gym (which also offers nice spa services) for pre-paid packages. I purchased three pre-paid wax treatments for eyebrows and upper lip, or as I like to call it, the Latina special. After I used the third and final treatment, I knew my eyebrows could take a couple of weeks of growth before my vision was obscured, but the 'stache was going to get outta control. Coincidentally, just as my treatments ran out, I came into some money (always thoroughly check all envelopes and boxes before throwing them out!) and instead of blowing it all on goofballs and more waxing, I decided to hit up my local drugstore and peruse their hair removal options. I quickly discarded bleach (orange mustache isn't the look I'm going for) and depilatories (the smell of Nair still sends me into convulsions) which left me with either wax or some weird emery board contraption that's supposed to rub hair off your skin. After a quick mental picture of a raw, sandpapered face, I went ahead and chose Nad's facial strips.

I was ready for yet another at-home waxing disaster (spilled wax that haunted my bathroom floor for almost a decade), but I did have a dim ray of hope that these little beauties would help me go from furry to fabulous.

The kit contains 12 double strips (each double can be used for two applications), desensitizing wipes for treating the area before waxing and finishing wipes for cleaning up any leftover wax afterward. Make sure your face is clean and dry before using the desensitizing wipe, then prepare for a burning sensation like you've never felt before. Seriously, I thought my face was catching fire. Wait for your face to dry and use the time to inspect your skin to make sure it's not red and bubbling. Now, you take one of the double strips and use your hands to warm it up, kind of like Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid. I tried writing out a better description just now, but it kind of sounded like bad romance novel porn. Peel the double strip apart to reveal two pre-waxed strips. Smooth it down on your furry bits, go over it a few times to make sure it's attached properly... ready for it? Hold your skin taut with one hand and let 'er rip!

I was so happy with the results! My facial hair is nothing to sneeze at, and if Nad's can handle what my upper lip dishes out then I'm extremely impressed. The finishing wipes were a little too oily for my liking, so I'd probably skip that step or perhaps just cut the wipe into halves or quarters in the future.

I considered including before and after photos for this, but despite my many years in retail and office space hell, I still have a tiny shred of dignity left.

In conclusion:

I paid about $7 for 12 strips, or .60 cents per pair of strips. I used one pair each time I de-fuzzed, meaning I was saving about $10 (before tip) per application. You said it, Fonz.

I'm not stupid or brave enough to try to tackle my own eyebrows, for that I'm willing to use the money I'm saving to let a professional work her magic. I love playing drugstore diva, but I know my limits.

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